The following is a list of steps to selecting a renovator suited to your renovation project. Use the same steps and procedures with each potential renovator to ensure each company is bidding on the same project scope and information; also to ensure their estimates are as accurate as possible for comparison purposes.

. Prepare a list of questions for the potential renovators in advance and be prepared to discuss your project in detail. If possible, have professional plans prepared before meeting renovators.

. Meet renovators individually to discuss the project and to obtain practical and technical information regarding your plans.

. Obtain information about past projects and experience from potential renovators. Ask about their business, crew and contractors they use.

. Request a general estimate to assist you in budget planning. Keep in mind that a renovator can only give you a general figure and not a detailed price at your first meeting.

. Follow up on references provided by each renovator.

. Ensure potential renovators have the skills and experience needed for your project. Check with previous clients about specific work done by the renovator.

. Review and compare each renovators detailed estimate to be certain that everything is included. If each renovator bids on the same information, the bids generally fall within the same price range. If there is a huge discrepancy in price, review each bid in detail checking such things as material quality, taxes applied, specific work included, warranty, etc. Check for renovator liability insurance and worker’s compensation. Professional renovators carry insurance and worker’s compensation.

. Contract – Obtain a written contract outlining the work, materials required, projected start and completion dates, price and payment schedule. Professional renovators usually provide a standard contract.

Following these steps to choosing a renovator will instill confidence in your choice before investing in a project. Following these steps will also provide peace of mind in knowing that your renovation will be done properly and professionally.

For more information on hiring a renovator and obtaining renovation contracts, check the Canadian Home Builder’s Associations website and their “Get It In Writing” program.

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